For those Georgia fans concerned about losing their best offensive and defensive player to the NFL draft, you can breathe a little easier. More than likely.
Speaking to the media Friday, and armed with the knowledge that they change their minds between now and Jan. 15, quarterback Aaron Murray and linebacker Jarvis Jones both confirmed that they will return to the Bulldogs for another season in 2012. Murray, a second-team All-SEC selection by both the coaches and Associated Press, acknowledged that he submitted paperwork to the NFL’s draft advisory board, but said that was more out of curiosity than any intent to actually pursue early entry into next April’s draft.
As a redshirt sophomore, Murray could actually have two more years of eligibility in Athens if he so desired. Murray did admit, though, there’s a chance he could decide to leave his final season of eligibility on the table and leave after the 2012 season.
While Murray submitted paperwork to NFL draft advisors, his teammate Jones didn’t even go that far. Jones, a consensus All-American who is currently second in the country in sacks with 13.5, told the media there was no reason for him to submit his paperwork to the board, which projects where an underclassman might fall in the draft, because he’s not going anywhere.
“I love being here,” Jones said. “I love the guys I play with. I love my coaches. I don’t think I’m ready to let that go yet.”
Two of Jones’ and Murray’s teammates, however, might be ready to go. Safety Bacarri Rambo said it’s “50-50” whether he will leave early, while tight end Orson Charles talked around what his football future holds.
“I’m blessed to have this decision to make in the first place,” Charles said. “I grew up hoping I would have this decision.”
It had previously been reported that Charles had already decided he was leaving early, to which the TE said yesterday, “don’t believe that.” Both Charles and Rambo are expected to announce their decisions at some point after the Jan. 2 Outback Bowl vs. Michigan State.